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2020.09.28[Mon] 09:00


【Today's Guest】



2020.09.21[Mon] 09:00

Japanese(日本語) , Rules & Manners(ルール・マナー) , Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽)

【Respect for the Aged Day】

Today's first topic is about Keiro no Hi or in English, Respect for the Aged Day. It falls on the 3rd Monday of September, and this year that happens to be today, Monday the 21st. On this day, we celebrate the longevity and wisdom of and give respect to the elders in our society. Usually, people go out for a meal with their grandparents or even take a trip somewhere but due to Covid-19 this year, I guess quite a few people might be doing online get-togethers with their families.  And although the dates are different, depending on where one is, it seems that all around the world, like in China, Korea, the US and other places, people have days on which they pay their respect to the elderly and honor and celebrate their lives as well as wish for their continuing good health. Unfortunately, all of my grandparents have passed away, but I often write letters to my grandfather's older sister who is a very sprightly 99 years old. Her 100th birthday is next year and hopefully I'll have a chance to make a visit to the US to celebrate with her and the family. Until then I'll have to keep writing though, sharing my life in Fukuoka with her, through pictures and words. She doesn't have internet or a computer or anything like that so it's the only way really!! It's nice writing letters though, and if she's anything like me, getting mail that isn't a bill is always a thrill. If you're thinking of a little something to do for someone around you perhaps a handwritten letter?


【Important information from Fukuoka City】

Bicycle Insurance

Now, I have some important information from Fukuoka City about bicycle insurance. Beginning the 1st of October, anyone who rides a bicycle will be required to have bicycle insurance according to a change in the law.

Whether you're commuting to work or to school, only going for a bit of shopping,  have a company that has employees on bicycles to get to jobs or are a company that rents bicycles, anyone and everyone that rides a bicycle must have insurance.

If you have a child that rides a bicycle, then a parent or guardian needs to sign up for insurance for them.

Why is this all necessary? Well, if you have an accident while on a bicycle, you may have to pay quite a lot of money to the injured party. However, if you are enrolled in an insurance policy, if that accident does happen while you are riding a bicycle and you injure another person, the costs for hospitalization and other costs will be covered. 

So, if you ride a bicycle, make sure you get insurance so that you are covered if you ever do have an accident! Of course you want to avoid that so, make sure you also follow the traffic rules!

You can check the Fukuoka Prefecture website for some information, there are links to some insurance companies, but it is all in Japanese so get someone to help you if necessary. I'll post some of the links on the blog, if I can.







You can find these and more on the Fukuoka Prefecture page (Japanese only):



The Fukuoka Knowledge Test

How much do you know about Fukuoka? Do you know the difference between Fukuoka and Hakata? Or what 'Bari Kata' is?  If you do, good job you are well on your way to perhaps passing the Fukuoka Knowledge Test. What's that you say? Well, it's a kind of exam that Fukuoka City has set up to help widen and deepen your knowledge pathways of Fukuoka.  And, if you pass the Fukuoka Knowledge Test, you can get discount tickets to sightseeing attracts,  the history and art museums here as well as receiving a special gift. 

If you are interested in the Fukuoka Knowledge Test, then just take a look at its homepage. There is information on the exam as well as games to help you brush up on your knowledge of the history and culture of Fukuoka. There are also short films that will introduce you to the charms of Fukuoka. It's a fun way to learn a little more about Fukuoka.

There's still a lot to discover, even for the longtimers here. So check out that homepage and start your Fukuoka journey. The site address is fukuokakentei.com. Again, that is fukuokakentei.com.

Oh, by the way, if you didn't know the answers to one of the questions earlier, Bari Kata refers to the doneness of the noodles in ramen. “Yawa, kata, bari kata, hari gane “ are just some ways to  say how done you want your noodles when you order a bowl of ramen. Bari Kata is a bit harder than normal, kind  of al dente. Did you know that?

2020.09.14[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健) , Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽)

【Emergency day or First aid day】

Last week I mentioned that September 9th was Choyo no Sekku but it was also KyuKyu no Hi. This is translated as Emergency day or First aid day and it was started in 1982 by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. If you know some Japanese, you'll know that the number 9 is Kyu. Double 9 puts together kyukyu, the Japanese word for "emergency". The day is designed to remind us to be grateful for health services and to be aware that sometimes things quickly take a turn for the worst. When that happens we need to be ready to help. In particular, if someone suddenly becomes ill or is injured we need to know how to treat that person.

If you need to call an ambulance or if you discover a fire, make sure that you call 119. Again that emergency phone number is 119. If you need help because someone has suddenly fallen ill or has been injured or if there is an accident or disaster, do not hesitate to call this number. There are 18 different languages available for the 119 emergency phone number.

【Getting out and about】

So, today I've got some fun information if you are looking to get out of the house for a bit. How does a trip to the Fukuoka City Zoo and Botanical Garden sound? It's right in the Chuo ward in the city and there are a number of different animals and a variety of flowers and plants to see there. You can go by bus or by subway. If you go by subway, that stop is Yakuin Odori, make sure you exit via the Zoo and Botanical Garden side. From there, you can grab a taxi or bus but walking is recommended as it is a pretty nice stroll to the Zoo. Entrance is only 600 yen for adults and 300 yen for high school students. Jr high students and younger get in free. If you're interested, check out their homepage at zoo.city.fukuoka.lg.jp. Again, that website is https://zoo.city.fukuoka.lg.jp/

You can see the baby giraffe and kangaroo that were born there this year, they're already getting big so quickly! I actually visited the zoo and botanical garden last month and highly recommend visiting the Tenbodai Cafe in the botanical garden. Not only is there a great view, but the coffee was amazing value and the pizza was so delicious! I also saw a ton of flowers that I'd never seen before. I can't wait for autumn colors to come, there is actually an autumn color area in that garden. I visited the zoo side as well and it looks like they are doing quite a bit of work rebuilding the areas for the animals. It looks like they're working to make a more natural and interactive space for visitors and a more comfortable space for the animals.

Of course, measures are being taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and so there is sanitizer at the entrance for your hands and posters have been put up   and announcements are being made to remind you to maintain social distance and to wash your hands at regular intervals. And don't forget to wear a mask when you do go out as part of those measures!

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2020.09.07[Mon] 09:00


【The Chrysanthemum Festival, Choyo no Sekku】

This morning I'd like to introduce you to something called Choyo no Sekku or the Chrysanthemum Festival. In Japan, when people used the lunar calendar, there were five days in the year called sekku and on these days, particularly important traditional events were held. One of them is Choyo no Sekku which falls on the 9th day of the 9th month.   Although many probably aren't familiar with “sekku” anymore, it's on this day, also called the Chrysanthemum Festival, that people would decorate their space with chrysanthemums, drink sake sprinkled with the flower's petals and eat chestnut rice in the hopes of having a long, healthy life.

This is actually a custom that came from China. Since ancient times, odd numbers have been considered auspicious in China and 9 is the highest of the odd numbers so the double 9 pairing of September 9th is a particularly auspicious day. As a result, Choyo became one of the 5 “sekku” days.

I guess a lot of people are feeling a bit stressed out these days due to the Coronavirus and other factors. Some say that flowers help to reduce stress so why not decorate with some Chrysanthemums this season? They're also the flower of November in Western cultures so there's no reason not to enjoy them for a couple of months!


Disaster Prevention Day and Disaster preparedness Week

Every year on September 1st is Disaster Prevention day. And in Fukuoka City, from the 1st to the 7th of September, is Fukuoka City's Disaster Preparedness week, preparedness referring to making sure you have enough food and other items stored up and ready for when something happens. The city wants its citizens to be aware that disasters can happen and the first step to understanding that is encouraging all of us to have supplies stockpiled in our homes and companies.

So why is this so important? Well basically, if a typhoon or earthquake hits and you are lucky enough to find yourself unscathed, without food and water you can't survive. Stores won't be open so you won't be able to buy supplies. If the water system shuts down, there won't be any water to drink. And if electric and gas services are disrupted, there will be no way to cook food. So, in order to survive after you emerge from a disaster unscathed, it is important to stockpile your supplies on a daily basis.

So the question is now, what do we need. Well, you need water for drinking and food, enough for at least 3 days. Three liters of water per person per day is what is recommended. Emergency food like instant rice, canned goods, dry biscuits, chocolate bars, hardtack and the like, are good things to have on hand because then, even if you can't cook, you'll still have something to eat. If you have a radio and flashlight prepared, always check that the batteries are still good. And make sure you have any medicines you need to take as well as bandages and other medical supplies prepared. For households with infants, diapers are also an essential item to have prepped.

In addition to the water that you'll need for drinking, you'll also need water for things like flushing the toilet. So be prepared by keeping a plastic jug filled with tap water or filling the bathtub with water.

You don't need to have a ton ready all at once. Just buy a little more of what you would normally buy and as you eat it up, just buy more to replace it. In this way, you'll have a “rolling stock” and it's a good way to always have an amount of stockpiled food ready in your home at anytime. It's also convenient because you can prepare for any emergency without having to worry about expiration dates on your food stocks. 

Typhoons often occur this time of year so take a look and make sure your stocks are ready.

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  • Colleen
  • Colleen
  • 誕生日:11月11日
    出身地:USA Detroit, MI
    興味のある事:I'm studying patisserie and languages